If presents are to be distributed, they may be produced by the conjurer at the end of the performance, or lucky-tubs are often brought in, into which the children dip in turns until each one has discovered a "treasure."
If dancing, however, is to begin directly after tea, plenty of polkas, barn dances, and galops and Highland flings, in which the tiniest mites enjoy taking part, should be included, as well as waltzes for the bigger children, and the party should end up with Sir Roger de Coverley or the Swedish Dance, when the grown-up members of the party, as a rule, line up behind the row of childish revellers to help each little couple through the intricacies of one or other of the pretty old-world dances; while, if the party is a fancy dress one, no better way of showing off the gay disguises of the masqueraders can be devised.
Bigger boys and girls enjoy a good dance more than any other form of entertainment, and given a well-polished floor or carefully-laid drugget to dance on, the gayest of new music, a good pianist, possibly aided by a violin, pretty programmes - a most important feature at a children's dance - they will be more than happy, and when once they have been well introduced, and their programmes filled, and the music has started, the hostess can set her mind at rest regarding the success of her party.
A children's dance supper may consist simply of sandwiches, creams, jellies, and fruit, or, for a more elaborate one, cups of clear soup and cold turkey, cold chicken and tongue or ham, fruit salad and trifle would be provided in addition, the table in either being decorated with dishes of fruit, flowers, small flags, and plenty of crackers.
It need scarcely be added that at a young children's dance or party it is neither necessary nor, indeed, desirable to provide anything in the nature of claret cup or the like. Tea, coffee, chocolate and such drinks as home-made lemonade are infinitely preferable.
A thoughtful and much appreciated attention on the part of the hostess is to provide a kindly maid-attendant in the dressing-room to repair any unfortunate ravages to frocks or other garments caused by youthful carelessness or excitement. Accidents are of specially frequent occurrence when the little guests are in fancy costume and hampered by unaccustomed draperies, and often cause much childish dismay until repaired.
Often, to reward her girl helpers, a hostess will ask half a dozen young men and an extra girl or two to come in time for supper, and stay on to wind up the evening with a little dance amongst themselves after the children have left.
Baby's Basket And Its Contents:
By Mrs. F. Lessels Mather, Central Midwives' Board, A.r.san.i.
The Flat Basket - How to Drape and Trim It - A Two-tier Basket - The Articles that Should
Always be at Hand for Use
Baskets are usually purchased, and prepared and draped with great care, even in the most modest of households.
They range from a plain, flat basket, costing only a few shillings, to one most elaborately trimmed to match the cot, and often costing many pounds.
Fig. 1. The plain wicker basket before draping
Over this is draped soft muslin, either plain or with a tiny spot. The basket is finished off with a neat frill, often edged with narrow washing lace.
Muslin and lace
Fig. 2. The flat basket covered with a pretty sateen, and draped with
If not provided with a lid, a cover should be made of the draping material, to keep all inside the basket free from dust.
Fig. 3. A two-tier basket, covered and trimmed with muslin and lace. Useful pockets are also provided
A very good and useful form is shown in Fig. 4 - a plain brown wicker basket, with two trays underneath. This would cost about eight shillings, and draperies all ready made may be bought for it, or it may be trimmed at home.
Fig. 4. A useful basket is one with two trays underneath. When trimmed, it is not only pretty, but practical
A very pretty little double basket is shown in Fig. 3, draped in muslin, over pink sateen, with ribbon bows of the same colour to give a dainty finish. The basket, with its contents, should be ready at least a month before baby is expected.
Contents of the Basket
The basket should contain:
1. A full set of baby's first clothing (as described in Part 3, page 334).
2. A set of napkins or towellettes.
3. A soft flannel apron, for the use of nurse or mother when washing baby.
4. Dusting powder, which should either be of a good well-known brand, or made at home by mixing together equal quantities of powdered white starch and boracic powder. This should be placed ready, either in a dredger or closed powder-box. Powder-boxes are of wood, or more often of xylonite.
5. The puff may be either of the "snowball" shape or an ordinary silk-tipped one. It should be kept in a box for the purpose.
The powder-box, the brush-box and the soap-box are generally sold in sets, and may have "Baby" prettily embossed or inlaid upon the lids.
7. Baby's soap, in box or case, should be plain white curd, or some good superfatted variety.
8. Two sponges are needed, or a piece of flannel, or a soft washing glove. These should be kept in a box or bag.
11. Needles, sewing cotton, and a thimble must also be kept ready, for sewing on the binder, or swathe, as well as a pair of blunt-pointed scissors.
12. A piece of soft old linen should be cut up into small squares, and pinned together ready for use in wiping out baby's mouth. For this, and the care of the eyes, will also be needed a small quantity of boracic acid in powder or crystals.
13. A quarter-of-a-pound packet of absorbent cotton-wool should also be placed in the basket.
14. A food and bath thermometer, or a combined instrument, which can be purchased for ninepence.
15. At least two soft towels (one of Turkish towelling and the other of diaper) should also be included, as well as antiseptic dressings.
16. These, with a piece of soft flannel or a small blanket, will complete the list of things needed in baby's basket.